Monday, July 9, 2012

Days 52-55, July 5- July 8

Day 52- July 5
Al's Day

Today we went to see "Over the Rainbow".  It is about the last concert of Judy Garland in London, not her actual "last" concert, in December of 1968.  In this play, she is portrayed as a drug addicted, irresponsible, alcoholic wreck.  The actress did a very good job and gave intense performance.  However, it was not at all sympathetic to Ms. Garland.  I was also concerned that there was some homophobic statements about her popularity with gays.  I suppose it was supposed to represent attitudes in 1968, but it still bothered me.

 I have to say I far preferred the play about Judy Garland done by the Minnesota History Theater.  It went much more into her history to explain how she got like she was.  The Broadway play just made it look like she was an out of control drug addict.  By the end of the play, I was ready to be done with the histrionics.

Afterward we went to a good Japanese restaurant.  We then went to get some material to use for the unveiling of the copy of the Vision of Peace that the St. Paul Rotary club will be send to Nagasaki.  Sally will be making this veil and I will bring it for the ceremony at the St. Paul City Hall/Ramsey County Courthouse on Tuesday, July 10, 2012.  It is at 5 PM if anybody is interested.

Sally's Day

I enjoyed hearing the Judy Garland songs in the play, but did not enjoy seeing 2 hours of Judy Garland being a self-destructive, rude, hysterical person.  I don't think we got any insight into why she behaved the way she did.  I did enjoy the fictional character of Anthony, her accompanist.  The play is set primarily in her London hotel room, where Anthony comes to prepare for the performance with her.  He was not an "enabler" to her many foibles, and made huge efforts to be firm and focused on what she needed to do.

I thought the Japanese restaurant was OK (Zendo at 34th and 9th), but would travel all that way for it again.

I found the fabric store (Paron) on the web, where many people had described its excellent service and low prices.  Perhaps the prices were low for NYC, but I am accustomed to JoAnne and Mill End when I am looking for inexpensive fabric.   So to pay $5.25/yard was a bit painful.  The clerk asked why we  if we had a beautiful statue we would want to cover it up with fabric. 

Day 53- July 6

Al's Day
Today we went to see "Mama Mia".  Much more uplifting and enjoyable.  Unlike the movie, the singing was excellent.  It was very enjoyable.  I would have been happy for the play to go on for another hour or two.

After the play, we went to a very good Turkish restaurant.  Then to home.

Both yesterday and today were very hot.  We did a lot of walking.   We were tired by the time we got home.  We walk a lot in New York.  This is both by design and necessity.  In New York, unless you are very rich, you have to walk places.  The transit system is excellent, but it doesn't come to your door. 

Sally's Day

It seems like Mama Mia has been around forever- so it is odd that it has taken us so long to actually see it.  I saw the movie.  Fortunately, the performers at the play are much better singers.  The dancing was okay, but not spectacular.  I still wonder how the writers came up with the idea of incorporating Abba songs into a story about a single mother in Greece. 

I looked up Abba on the internet. I learned that the group was two married couples (who later both divorced), and their name was an acronym of the first letters of their first names.  I have heard that they are the most successful export Sweden has ever had.  When we were in Stockholm in 2009, they were building an Abba museum.

I enjoyed the Turkish food. I don't know why I don't make shepherd's salad at home- it is just chopped tomatoes and cucumber with a vinegar and oil dressing and feta cheese. 

Most of my at home time is being spent assembling a summer quilt (is that an oxymoroon?).  I am making it in units so that I only have one or two long seams- especially important in a small apartment.

Day 54- July 7

Al's Day

We had lunch with a woman we met while volunteering sorting clothes at a local church.  She and her husband met us at another Turkish restaurant that they selected.  It was, again, very good.  I wonder if there is any type of cuisine that you cannot get in New York.  However, I have yet to find Minnesota type chow mien.  You know, the type with hard noodles.

After that, we went to buy some fabric that Sally will tell you about.

Later that day, we went to see an Indian movie, "Bol Bachchan".  It was quite entertaining.  Our basic understanding of Indian culture and the conflict between Hindus and Muslims helped us to understand some of the comedy, but we are sure we missed some other stuff.  There is a theater near us that seems to show mainly Indian movies, so I expect that at least I will be a frequent visitor.

Sally's Day

It's a Kung Fu movie- no, it's a romance- no, it's a comedy- no, it's a musical. Actually, it's all four  because it is a typical Bollywood movie- which has something for everyone. Action, romance, comedy, and huge Busby Berkely type musical numbers.  We were the only people in the theater who were not of Indian descent, and the snack counter offered samosas and tea, along with the usual popcorn and soda. 

The plot revolves around a young man who adopts the name of a famous Indian movie star (Amitabh Bachchan) to hide his actual identity as a Muslim.  As usual, the plot gets quite complicated as the lies pile up.  At one point, he needs to have a mother (he is an orphan), and his friends provide him with 3 mothers, who all show up at the same time.  In real life, the actor is Bachchan's son; the father appears in a musical number at the beginning of the show.   I recommend this movie (or any other Bollywood movie) for an evening of silly fun.

We also went to B and J Fabrics in the fashion district.  Al had given me a gift certificate from there for Valentine's Day.  If you want to see beautiful, expensive, imported fabrics,  it is quite fun.  It is not a great place for quilt fabric.  The staff seemed rather elitist.   I bought several pieces of Liberty of London fabrics, which are not in the stores at home.  Much to my delight, when I got home, I discovered that the 1/2 yard pieces were 22-24 inches and the 1 yard piece was at least 1 1/4 yards.  Perhaps one can be both elitist and generous. I will simply enjoy looking at this fabric until it inspires me to sew something.
Day 55- July 8

By Al

Today we went to the Brick Presbyterian Church.  It is an old and big church on Madison Avenue.  It was pretty traditional.  One of the ministers did serious vowel extensions, which is pretty irritating.  The article in Wikepedia has the following statement, "Vowel extension refers to the elongation of vowel sounds, especially in the final syllable of words and sentences. A bit can be pleasing; too much is distracting."  The minister, and for that matter all public speakers, would be well to take heed of this.  They had a college student interning as the organist.  Unfortunately, she could not keep a consistent beat, which is one of my pet peeves.  So, we won't be going back.

After wards we went to brunch at Hospoda.  This is the restaurant in the Czech National Building near us.  It was very good.

My lunch

Sally's lunch

We then went to a free comedy show in Central Park.  It was good, but as with all comedy shows, it varied with the different comedians.  But, it was entertaining and free.  There are many free things to do in New York.   This is a nice feature of this city. 

Sunday night I packed for my trip back to Minnesota.  I will be in Minnesota for a week to do the celebration over the statue that is going to Nagasaki.  Also, Friday Amy and I are going canoeing.  And, on Sunday, Amy and the CAM dragon boat team will be racing at Lake Phalen.  It will be good to see Amy again.  I do miss her.  Unfortunately, I will miss Sally while I am gone. 

Sally's Day

Brick Church was beautiful.  However, I think the minister chose a difficult passage for her text.  It was the story of King David from 2 Samuel conquering another country, and message was unclear to me. 

I enjoyed lunch, and recommend the restaurant.  The service was  excellent.  The kitchen is in the basement, along with the restrooms.  The kitchen is open so you can watch meals being prepared while you wait your turn.  It would be fun to eat down there and have the cooking for entertainment.  It is on East 73rd Street (I think the address is 315 East 73rd).  The menu is small- which I find a plus in decision-making.  Also, I think it gives some assurance that the chef will be making things that he/she is really good at.  I also recommend the bread.  I would enjoy just sitting there with some of their bread and a Czech beer.

Central Park is always great fun.  It seemed a bit odd to be watching stand up comedians at 2 in the afternoon in a park.  Lots of humor focusing on life in New York- small apartments, unemployment, expensive stuff, etc.

I continue to be amazed at women's shoes here.  People walk miles and miles- and yet I see  most women wearing flip flops,  incredibly high heels, and lots of platform shoes.  I assume that business is very good at podiatrists  and foot massage.

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